C.O. EMPORDÀ

EMPORDÀ, THE OLDEST VINEYARDS IN CATALONIA

L’Empordà is one of the oldest wine regions in the Iberian Peninsula. The Greeks and the Romans established their first settlements here more than 2,500 years ago. From Empúries, they spread their trade and wine culture all over Hispania. Monasteries, such as Sant Pere de Rodes, have kept the tradition alive.

The vineyards and the wine they produced experienced a boom when the Phylloxera infestation struck a blow to the French wine trade. The flanks of the Albera Massif were planted with vines to take advantage of every square inch of soil. However, when the plague eventually came to our side of the Pyrenees, it spelt tragedy. In order to survive the years of hardship, the winegrowers united together, creating the first cooperatives, such as the Capmany Cooperative, which is now a hundred years old.

Once the adversities had been overcome, the vineyard once again took centre stage in the Empordà, marking the beginning of a new era. At the end of the 1960s the fever of tourism started to take hold, however. Many winegrowers were so enamoured of the new Gold Rush they abandoned their trade. Hotels and restaurants sprung up all along the coast, creating what we know today as the Costa Brava.

Today the grandchildren of those same winegrowers have returned to their roots. Having studied oenology and learnt the concept of hospitality from their parents, many young people have returned to recover the lost vines and create high quality wines.

Where the Pyrenees march into the sea, at the foot of the Albera and Cap de Creus mountains, is where you will find the Empordà vineyards.

Garnachas(white, rosé and red) andCarinyenes(white and red).

On one hand, the northerly wind, the old vines and the poor soil of slate and granite all imbue Empordà wine with a distinct body and character. On the other, the region’s proximity to the sea, lend the wines of the Empordà region a surprising freshness and salinity.

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